Revision of NCERT Textbooks

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Source-This post on Revision of NCERT Textbooks has been created based on the article “NCERT textbooks need to keep pace with changing times” published in “The Indian Express” on 22 June 2024.

UPSC Syllabus-GS Paper-2– Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Context– The article emphasizes the importance of revising textbooks meaningfully to ensure they offer a balanced, credible, and reliable historical narrative by focusing on positive examples of conflict resolution and mutual respect.

What are the issues with school textbooks?

1) Historical Narratives in School Textbooks: School textbooks in the past focused narrowly on India’s achievements, overlooking its contributions to art, literature, philosophy, and science. This distorted the country’s historical identity and perpetuated colonial mindsets.

2) Impact on Students: Introducing complex historical conflicts prematurely in school curricula may lead to emotional distress and perpetuate negative perceptions. This may divide communities.

3) Ethical Considerations- The biased historical accounts in outdated textbooks raised concerns about their potential to undermine unity and mutual respect among students.

Read more- Changes to the NCERT syllabus and associated issues

What should be the way forward?

1) Need for Balanced Narratives-Textbook revisions are important to provide a credible historical narrative that focuses on resolving conflicts and fostering mutual respect, helping students become responsible citizens with a better grasp of India’s heritage.

2) Role of Universities –It should offer an environment where mature discussions and critical analyses of historical controversies can take place.

3) Pedagogical Goals-School education should try to cultivate positive attitudes and critical thinking among students. This can prepare them for societal roles without early disillusionment.

4) Promoting National Unity and Inclusivity through Revised Textbooks– Revised textbooks should focus on national unity, inclusivity, and India’s cultural contributions. It should move away from divisive narratives and integrating contemporary global issues relevant to students’ lives.

5) Continuous Improvement: -Regularly updating textbooks, as mandated by the National Education Policy 2020, is important to meet changing educational demands and encourage empathy, curiosity, and critical thinking among students.

Question for practice

What are the concerns related to school textbooks? What steps should be taken to address them?

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